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Die Wand by Marlen Haushofer

Die Wand (original 1962; edition 2012)

by Marlen Haushofer

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7234812,995 (4.19)36
Title:Die Wand
Authors:Marlen Haushofer
Info:Ullstein Taschenbuchvlg. (2012), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:2013 challenge

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The Wall by Marlen Haushofer (1962)

  1. 10
    Die gläserne Kugel. Utopischer Roman. by Marianne Gruber (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: Another book written by an Austrian author whose protagonist is surrounded by a transparent barrier. Sphere of Glass isn't anything like so well-known as this one. Which is rather a pity.
  2. 00
    Man in the Holocene by Max Frisch (defaults)

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» See also 36 mentions

English (33)  German (7)  Dutch (6)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All (49)
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)

What a marvelous book. It is beyond me why this novel is classified a feminist classic as it holds up as something great no matter whose sex wrote it. This is a story of redemption under grave circumstances. It is a tale of determination and persistence in the face of uncertain and daunting circumstances. The novel could be deemed an instruction manual on how to live a life with one’s own self, alone and entrusted with responsibilities perhaps too great for the typical human being handed them. But the narrator prevails and actually thrives in her seclusion, and is given the opportunity for true self-esteem and meaning in her life. And that is not a feminist theme but rather something universal to be strived for no matter what sex one is, or even regarding our present day, working out perhaps what sex one isn’t.

Marlen Haushofer writes in an engaging style, conversing with the reader as if on solid ground and friendly terms, tolerant at all times for the fate she has been faced with, and in my eyes kindly hoping that we might do the same, given similar circumstances. Through her lot of characters she inherits (all domesticated animals), Haushofer develops their personalities emotionally and spiritually to the degree we become as well attached to them, and worry for their happiness, good health, and safety. This book is as good as any I have read, and so accessible that it caused me no care to look a word up or write one down. Sometimes the simplest form works out to be the best. Haushofer certainly found a winning voice within the covers of this little masterpiece of fine literature. ( )
  MSarki | Oct 24, 2016 |
First it seems to be brilliant, nothing more. Ideas for great interpretations, especially the ones considering the year it was published (1968), kept coming to me with the flow of simple, direct language that expresses what is necessary. Later I got tired of that. Waiting for a new perspective when it's discussed in the lecture I read it for. ( )
1 vote kthxy | May 6, 2016 |
A long, lavish poem asking so many questions without answers and yet very comforting especially as an animal lover myself. This book reminds me of a great opera where a simple theme is restated from different angles until the an idea transcends and resonates. Each living thing introduced has exceptional individual character and the ascending enhances and augments but never replaces or negates any prior living thing. I especially liked the tragic tone of the book and was touched by the resolution in the end. No loss of hope, only gratefulness to be experiencing the fullness of life, warts and all. ( )
  donwelty | Dec 13, 2015 |
A really good read. I didn't realise until I just added the decade tag that this book was written in the 1960s, it has aged fantastically. The book was a masterful study in what it is to be alone, seeking meaning in a life without anyone else.

A big sense of foreboding as the book came to an end, as the main character began to feel a sense of dread coming - although this may have been due to me having seen the film adaptation first and knowing what was to come.

I really got a good feel for the little world encased inside the walls, and it's fascinating how the imprisonment becomes less about the wall and more self imposed in the mind of the main character after the first few pages.

I would definitely consider looking at some of the authors other books. ( )
  fothpaul | May 7, 2015 |
This book has stayed with me for days. I saw the movie and was so touched I picked up the book. It has several threads: nuclear or other weapons that can destroy humanity, living with nature, women's issues, and oneness with the universe.
The last point might be one of the most interesting. The character notes several times that entering the universal one in her situation is dangerous. It is because she needs to remain aware of the dangers of her situation as well as the potential for other human survivors to appear and potentially enslave or harm her. This resonates with her former lifestyle where she became enslaved to marriage and all the usual trappings society pegged as good and proper. It also resonates on its own level, because while we often strive to achieve oneness, there is actually danger there because we exist in physical form and need to defend that physical form.
A very thought-provocing novel that reads quickly, is riviting in surprising ways, and should be on the shelves of anyone with an interest in the various threads that appear. ( )
  Laine-Cunningham | Feb 22, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
The Wall is a quiet book about domesticity, planting, beauty, the rhythms of keeping house, the land, human nature—and what a person can love in a people-less world. I consider it The Road’s antithesis. In contrast to McCarthy’s characters, who are toiling desperately for their survival in an ugly world, The Wall suggests our disappearance from the planet need not seem a tragedy.

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marlen Haushoferprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hengel, Ria vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whiteside, ShaunTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Für meine Eltern
First words
Today, the fifth of November, I shall begin my report.
Violent as these storms were, the sky was clear the next morning, and the mists billowed only in the valley. The meadow seemed to be floating along on the clouds, a green and damply gleaming ship on the white foaming waves of a turbulent ocean. And the sea subsided slowly, and the tips of the spruces rose from it wet and fresh.
I had waited much too often and much too long for people or events which had never turned up, or which had turned up so late that they had ceased to mean anything to me.
Loving and looking after another creature is a very troublesome business and much harder than killing and destruction.
If everyone had been like me there would’ve never been a wall.
As long as there is something to love in the forest, I shall love it. And if some day there is nothing, I shall stop living.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0939416549, Paperback)

First published to acclaim in Germany, The Wall chronicles the life of the last surviving human on earth, an ordinary middle-aged woman who awakens one morning to find that everyone else has vanished. Assuming her isolation to be the result of a military experiment gone awry, she begins the terrifying work of survival and self-renewal. This novel is at once a simple and moving tale and a disturbing meditation on humanity.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:03 -0400)

"A middle-aged widow wakes up one day in her cousin's holiday home in the countryside and finds herself alone; her hosts have failed to return from an evening out in the nearby village. Perplexed, the woman investigates, accompanied by her hosts' dog, Luchs. The pair soon encounter an invisible wall, separating them from the world outside. Beyond the wall is a man, frozen mid-motion; all is still. The narrator quickly establishes the limits of her new, walled world, a sizeable area that is partially forested and occupied by a variety of animals." -- New Books in German.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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